April 24, 2012

Dantonio gives update on spring practice

EAST LANSING - Head coach Mark Dantonio said Saturday's Green-White Game will be a good opportunity for sophomore QB Connor Cook to get action in a pressure environment. Meanwhile, the head coach will look for a little sharper tackling.

The Spartans will hold a team draft on Wednesday. Kickoff on Saturday is 1 p.m (BTN).

"We should be able to play a full game," Dantonio said. "We have good numbers still, which is reflective of where we are at with our offensive and defensive lines, primarily; that's where we get into problems sometimes."

Coming out of Friday's scrimmage, Dantonio said he was pleased with Cook's play. Cook is getting first-string reps in the absence of injured starter Andrew Maxwell (knee sprain).

"What Cook needs is game experience," Dantonio said. "This (spring game) will help him a lot. It will be on TV, a little bit more exposure, a little bit more pressure. He has a great arm. He has good poise in the pocket. He is learning the offense as we go. So he is right on time with his progression in terms of how he is getting ready."

Dantonio was happy with the ground game, which produced more than 200 yards rushing.

"I guess I was a little bit disappointed with tackling in space a little bit as the scrimmage progressed," Dantonio said. "And we have to make every catch. There were some balls on the money that we didn't make the catches on.

"We are missing some guys (at wide receiver). Tony Lippett being out (ankle) hurts us. Keith Mumphrey was nicked up a little bit. Jeremy Langford has been a pleasant surprise out there. Bennie Fowler has not been out there. So when you look at those two guys (Fowler and Lippett) those are two of our primary guys. So it is tough not to have them out there, but that's the way the game is sometimes."

The Spartans are going through practice No. 13 of 15 today. No. 14 is on Thursday.

"We are looking at this as a Tuesday of game week," Dantonio said prior to practice on Tuesday. "So it's a work day for us and we should get a lot of things done today. We like where we're at right now."

  • Greg Jones and Devin Thomas of the New York Giants will be the team's honorary captains on Saturday.

    "Two Super Bowl winners, so that will be exciting," Dantonio said.

  • Dantonio said junior QB Andrew Maxwell will not play. "He might be able to play, but too much of a risk," Dantonio said.

    "I was impressed with Connor Cook's play as the day progressed, and Dan Conroy making big kicks at the end.

    "We got a lot of things done."

  • Dantonio indicated that sophomore Keith Drummond is still slightly ahead of redshirt freshman R.J. Williamson at free safety.

  • Defensive end William Gholston practiced at full speed on Tuesday, a few days after Tweeting a photo of himself in an ankle brace. Gholston appears to be unhurt at this time.






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